NI appeal court declines to intervene after same-sex marriage law change

NI appeal court declines to intervene after same-sex marriage law change

Northern Ireland’s Court of Appeal has declined to intervene in a same-sex marriage challenge.

It said the change in legislation this year to allow the unions meant there was no reason to make a further declaration.

Same-sex marriage was legally recognised in Northern Ireland in January.

The Court of Appeal in Belfast said: “The court concluded that, in light of the legislative developments, there was no purpose to be served by making a declaration under Section 4 of the Human Rights Act.”

In July, British politicians supported amendments to legislation requiring the British Government to extend the right to same-sex couples in Northern Ireland unless the Stormont Assembly was restored by October.

Restoration did not happen until earlier this year following a three-year dispute between former powersharing partners Sinn Féin and the DUP.

In November 2015, a Stormont Assembly vote resulted in a majority in favour of same-sex marriage for the first time.

The DUP vetoed change to the law using a mechanism known as the Petition of Concern.

The court had been asked to rule on the issue by two couples who had entered into civil partnerships in December 2005 – Grainne Close with Shannon Sickles, and Christopher Flanagan-Kane with Henry Flanagan-Kane.

Both couples wished to enter into a marriage but asserted they were prohibited from doing so by law passed in Northern Ireland in 2003, which provided that there was a legal impediment to a marriage if both parties were of the same sex.

The court said: “The court was satisfied that by the time of the delivery of the first instance judgment in this case in August 2017, the absence of same-sex marriage in this jurisdiction discriminated against same-sex couples, that a fair balance between tradition and personal rights had not been struck, and that therefore the discrimination was not justified.”

More on this topic

Clodagh Finn: Time for uncomfortable conversations on homophobiaClodagh Finn: Time for uncomfortable conversations on homophobia

Proposed law will not compel NI ministers to provide same-sex marriageProposed law will not compel NI ministers to provide same-sex marriage

California judge rules cake maker entitled not to serve same sex couples California judge rules cake maker entitled not to serve same sex couples

Australian MP proposes to partner during gay marriage debateAustralian MP proposes to partner during gay marriage debate


More in this Section

Tax rises and pay freezes can’t be ruled out, says fiscal watchdogTax rises and pay freezes can’t be ruled out, says fiscal watchdog

Call to halt depletion of Defence ForcesCall to halt depletion of Defence Forces

Covid was 'transported by bus to Kerry', says TDCovid was 'transported by bus to Kerry', says TD

Munster Technological University gets long-awaited approvalMunster Technological University gets long-awaited approval


Lifestyle

The model mum took a coronavirus test in preparation for the procedure.Everything to know about breast implant removal, as Chrissy Teigen says she’s undergoing surgery

Cathal Coughlan is known for his part in Microdisney, but for many people his best output came with the harder-edged band he formed afterwards, writes Ed PowerB-Side the Leeside: The Fatima Mansions and the story of 'Viva Dead Ponies'

Limerick singer-songwriter Emma Langford recently released a new single ‘Mariana’ available to buy on Bandcamp, with all proceeds going to Safe Ireland.Question of Taste: Singer-songwriter Emma Langford

These jammy thumbprint cookies are dangerously moreish.Jammy thumbprint cookies recipe

More From The Irish Examiner